A Story Of Two Lines (For The 5th Time)

It's still a bit surreal, sitting down to write out the story of how we found out we were expecting our fifth baby! I never thought about having five kids until the last couple years, and even then I was mostly working on convincing my heart that we were done at four.  As I sit here typing, I'm just feeling so grateful that the Lord has better plans than our own.

I guess this story sort of starts when I was pregnant with Clarice.  I didn't write about it much, because I ended up being wrong, but when I first got pregnant with Clarice, I was convinced it was twins.  Her pregnancy and all my symptoms were so different than any of my other pregnancies, it seemed to make sense.  Of course I found out that there was indeed only one baby in there, but for that brief period of time I had five kids on the brain.  After I found out it would only be four, five would never quite let go.

A few months after Clarice was born, I remember sitting there, looking at my beautiful family, my four beautiful kids, and feeling a sense of contentment...but at the same time, I had this niggling little feeling somewhere inside.  It kept whispering that maybe someone was still missing.

The feeling persisted, and I mostly tried to dismiss it, because four had always been our number.  Five really hadn't been on the radar.  When I told Derek how I felt, we prayed about it for a few months, and went on with daily life.  I had heard from other moms that even after their last baby they never felt "done", so I tried to convince myself that this was all part of the normal adjustment after you pass your child-bearing phase.  

I cleaned out some of our baby items, and dropped them off at the pregnancy center and the thrift store.  When we gave away the activity "city" that we got when Wyatt was a baby, Derek turned to me and told me that it all made him a little sad.  He was feeling good about four, but seeing our baby things sitting on the pavement made him sad that it appeared to be all over.  I was a little sad too, but tried not to think about it, because the thought of being done was always sad.  And that was normal, right?

I had a couple months after I got my cycles back when I almost convinced myself I was pregnant, because my premenstrual symptoms were so different after Clarice - every month they were more like early pregnancy symptoms than PMS.  After a couple months of torturing myself, I decided to stop charting the second part of my cycle, and stop paying attention to my "symptoms" that kept turning out to not be pregnancy symptoms at all.  My thought was that if I wasn't having to record my temperature every morning during the second part of my cycle, I wouldn't be thinking about our methods and the probability of us getting a surprise, and I wouldn't have time to talk myself into the idea of being pregnant.

So in February I charted until I knew we were safe, marked when my next cycle would start on the calendar, and didn't think about it.

Technically, I knew I could start on Friday, but it could also be Saturday, so I packed a few feminine things in my purse on Saturday March 4th, and I went off on my antique store shopping trip with my mom and sister.  I got home later, helped Derek with the kids, and read a book the rest of the afternoon.  That evening I remembered that I hadn't started, and decided to take a test the next morning.  Just to rule it out.  Then I could take that information and predict my ovulation a little more accurately the next cycle.  It wouldn't be the first time I ovulated a day or two later than I thought.

So the next morning, when I pulled out that test, I wasn't particularly careful while taking it.  I didn't count to exactly five seconds.  I didn't really think it would be positive.

I popped in my contacts, and went back to look at the test sitting on the side of the tub.  One solid line, so I looked to the next window, and with a bit of a start, realized there was a very faint second line forming.  My heart picked up a little, and I sat there with my chin in my hand, completely bewildered as the line got darker and darker.

I figured out later that if I had taken a little more care to study the test before I took it, I would have known that I was squinting that whole time at the control line.  The test line was the dark line that I could see clearly before I even got the contact solution out of my eyes.

I was pregnant!

Looking back, I should have been a little suspicious.  I had been exhausted for an entire week, I was waking up twice every night to use the bathroom, and I had cried one night merely because Derek hadn't emptied the dishwasher.  But my PMS had been so weird for months, I really didn't suspect anything!  I never thought I would ever be truly surprised to be pregnant because I am usually so in tune with my body, but this one really did surprise me.

I called Derek downstairs and told him immediately.  He laughed, shook his head, and then I think we were both a bit in shock for the rest of the day.  It didn't even feel real until the next morning.  We were having a fifth baby!

We started to get more and more excited, and now I am honestly thrilled and super protective of my sweet baby bean!  

That first day I think we were most nervous by what people would say.  I read an article last year, "Honest Thoughts On Having A Fifth Baby", and I re-read it after we found out we were pregnant.  I feel like I could have written much of it.  Five babies are not common in our society today, and people can be so rude.  I had already received rude reactions when I couldn't 100% confirm over the previous year that we were done having babies, and I was worried because I so wanted this baby to be celebrated and welcomed as all my other kids have been.  I highly encourage you to go read that article, so you know the proper (and improper) response if you ever have a friend who has or wants an unusual number of kids.

Thankfully though, all of my people must have gotten the memo, because the reactions to our fifth little blessing have been mostly positive!  Our friends and family are all excited for us.  And if we get any negative reactions, I think our attitude is - who cares?  If someone is going to give us grief for joyfully accepting this God-ordained blessing, they don't count, and their opinion is the thing that is not welcome here.  We are celebrating and excited to welcome this precious new life!

In retrospect, I think that the niggling feeling that our family was missing someone wasn't just "normal", it was the Holy Spirit telling us to just hang on and wait a little longer because God wasn't done growing our family yet.  I wrote last year about how I was feeling convicted about the typical view of family size, as if this is the one area that we should control ourselves.  But God should have a say.  Neither Derek nor I was feeling complete peace about closing that door, and now we know why!  I am so thankful for God nudging us to wait, because that little niggly hole in my heart is filled up by this sweet baby.  I can't wait to hold him or her in November!

I'm six and a half weeks now (update coming soon), but here is my four week picture in the meantime!


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  1. I am so excited for you guys! I love pregnancy announcements and celebrating them. I love the whole story of this sweet fifth baby.

  2. Oh my goodness, Callie, I am so stinking excited for you! I absolutely love this story and think it's the prefect reminder that God is in control and knows what's best for us. You are going to be an amazing mama to five little ones! I'm from a family with five kids and I love having so many brothers and sisters, your kids will love it too. It's really the best thing ever!

  3. You're flowing! Congratulations on baby #5!!! What a blessing

  4. I am so so so excited for you!!! I think big families are amazing and I aspire to hopefully have as many cute kiddos as you one day...cause who doesn't love Anne little baby?!! Congrats again my friend!

  5. Congrats!! What a blessing :)

  6. This is seriously awesome!! I read that article and I honestly don't understand the joking and sarcastic remarks when people choose to have large families. Just because it's not as common these days doesn't mean there's a thing wrong with it! If parents are able to provide for that many kids, they should have as many as they want! I can't say I personally want more than two or three (partially because I'm already 33), but who knows. I'm still pregnant with our first and who knows how I'll feel after we have one or two more? Two kids...ten kids...pregnancy is a miracle so keep 'em coming! :)

  7. Oh, the picture of that test! Aside from the actual birth, there is no more exciting moment than seeing that faint little line develop. I don't think I will ever feel "done." I always crave the excitement of the realization that God's given us yet another little blessing. So thrilled for you and your family. What a lucky little babe to join your fam. xo

  8. You look so happy! All babies are a blessing and this is exciting! Although I don't know what life holds for Jordan and I, we would ideally like to have 3 or 4... just not sure we will have enough money for that many :) But we both grew up in families with 4 kids, and I personally love having a big(ger) family. I'm sure your kids will too.

  9. Ever since you wrote that blog post about "probably" being done, I just knew you were going to have more. I really wanted a big family, but I'm thankful to have two. I was the middle of 5! Two girls, three boys. So you're having a tie-breaker. ;) As always, it was fun reading your story. You seem to do well with handling a big family.

  10. What a wonderful blessing! Being oldest of seven, I am a bit biased toward large families because I know how awesome it was to grow up in one! My baby sister is almost 16 years younger than I am, and it's pretty much the best thing ever, watching her grow up!

  11. I am just so excited for this news and loved the backstory. I love all the backstories. Can't wait to read through the journey as you go!! Congratulations!

  12. I love this story!! You know what's funny is a few days before you announced I had been looking back at a post on my blog and you had commented something about not feeling done or enjoying the freedom not being in that newborn phase anymore and I said back something about maybe God has one more for you ;) I love how all of His plans come together and how awesome He blessed your family with the yearning of your hearts!!

  13. AW!! Congratulations! What exciting news! Btw, your four week pics are adorable! I'm excited to follow your journey with you sweet little number 5. <3

  14. Congrats, Callie! I felt the same way with my fourth pregnancy (which was actually my fifth because of a chemical pregnancy), like I should be ashamed. I also felt that way with my first because we got pregnant only a month after getting married and one person's reaction was literally: "You already got her knocked up?" I will never forget how that made me feel. I know people have differing convictions on birth control, but to me a sad side effect of birth control culture is that people act like family size is something to be tightly and perfectly controlled - whether you struggle to have kids or have "too many," people will have something to say about it. ANYWAY, I'm SO happy for you and look forward to reading your pregnancy updates!

  15. That is SO EXCITING! Congrats! It's funny how we let others' view of us discourage something that is good, even God given. I do it all of the time, I can only imagine what freedom I would have if I just stopped worrying what others thought about me.

    Can't wait to read more about this pregnancy and meet your new babe!

  16. Such a sweet blessing, Callie!! So happy for you!!

  17. Congratulations! So excited for your family!


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